Shad­ow­boxer

Thai Hard

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

228 pages | £ 7.99 ( pa­per­back) Au­thor: Tri­cia Sul­li­van Pub­lisher: Raven­stone

There’s a lot to love

about this YA novel, which draws to­gether the sto­ries of Amer­i­can Latina mixed mar­tial artist Jade, Thai- based Burmese refugee Mya, and Welsh- Asian jour­nal­ist Shea.

Mya is be­ing forced by the sin­is­ter Mr Richard to lead him into the mys­ti­cal Himma­pan for­est, which she can ac­cess through med­i­ta­tion but he can only visit with the help of a child guide. After she en­coun­ters Jade and Shea, the three work to­gether to bring down Mr Richard’s crim­i­nal en­ter­prises.

So many of the stan­dard genre tropes – white lead char­ac­ters, ob­ses­sions with clothes and boys, col­lege dra­mas – have been thrown out. And the spir­i­tual do­main of the Himma­pan, and the strange crea­tures that live there, meshes beau­ti­fully into Jade’s gritty world of cage fights. Miriam McDon­ald

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